Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Don't tick Garth Brooks off - he can afford the best attorneys! He's suing an Oklahoma hospital over a half-million dollar donation he made in 2005. According to Garth, they promised to name a building after his late mom, Colleen. According to the hospital, the donation was "anonymous and unconditional." The trial begins this week.

Rumors are floating around that maybe Kenny Chesney is looking to change record labels and become more of a mainstream artist. According to Kenny's manager, the rumors are totally inaccurate. Meanwhile, Kenny is in the islands, recording in a beach-side studio.

It's a good thing to be Brad Paisley's opening act, despite the pranks. The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery are on the road with him now, and previous tour openers include Taylor Swift, Rodney Atkins and Jake Owen. About his warm-up acts, Brad says, “We’ve gotten really lucky with picking some really wonderful people to be out there on the road. And one of the things I’m proudest of is having had some hand in the beginning of some of these careers that are now on fire.”

Blake Shelton hit the stage last week, and at a stop in Missouri, he started singing "Let It Rain." The crowd ate it up, because that's David Nail's home state. Blake said to the crowd, "Wouldn't it be cool if he walked out right now?" As the crowd cheered, David came out and he and Blake duetted on "Let It Rain."

Condolences to Blake Shelton and his family. His dad, Dick Shelton, passed away Tuesday night, surrounded by his family. Blake is postponing several tour dates as his family makes arrangements. In a statement, Blake said, "I appreciate your understanding during this difficult time and thank you for all your prayers. Your support means the world to me. I love you guys." The Well Lit and Amplified tour will resume January 26th in Columbus, GA.

Rescheduled Dates:
Bismarck, ND - March 20th
Rapid City, SD - March 21st
Bozeman, MT - March 22nd
Billings, MT - March 23rd

Eric Church kicks off his "Blood, Sweat & Beers" tour tomorrow in Arkansas, and he has the #1 country song in America this week. Nice timing, and Eric says the song came from his fans: “We just walked off stage and saw the crowd...saw our fans, and saw them put their beers up in the air, and you could just tell that they’d worked all week and this was their moment to let all that wash away. And that’s where the title was born from, really. And that just became a really good song, born from our fans.”

Brantley Gilbert celebrated his first #1 song in Nashville yesterday. Joined by "Country Must Be Countrywide's" co-writers, Colt Ford and Mike Dekle, the Georgia native talked about the truth behind the lyrics: “Oh, anytime we tour up north or northwest, it takes you by surprise, you know? Before we toured, I didn’t go much farther than the beach on vacation, you know? So, I always thought northerners were city folks. Not the case at all! They’re just like us, they’ve just got a different accent.”

Merle Haggard logged some time in a hospital bed instead of on stage this week. He had to cancel shows in South Carolina and Macon, and ended up in the hospital in Macon. His manager said the 74-year-old singer has been sick since leaving home last week. He is expected to perform tomorrow night in Paducah, Kentucky.

John Rich's time on "Celebrity Apprentice" has boosted St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital to new heights of awareness. John's charity was St. Jude, and he raised $1.4 million for them, but the giving has continued since then. According to John, “The folks at St. Jude have told me there’s been a huge spike in people online signing up to become Partners in Hope, which is where, you know, somebody can donate $20 a month or $10 a month. They said there’s been thousands of people...have come on since Apprentice. I just couldn’t ask for anything more.” John was just given the first "Randy Owen Angels Among Us Award" from St. Jude in recognition of his work for them.

The tweet of the day is from Sarah Buxton: "@jakeowen prayers for a speedy recovery for you!! Movies and ice cream in the meantime..."